Packers unable to recover any of Martellus Bennett’s signing bonus
The Green Bay Packers typically stay clear of the big name free agent market. But last year they broke from the norm and signed tight end Martellus Bennett. But things didn’t work out. They ended up cutting him during the season. But since they didn’t get what they paid for, they wanted to recover some of his $6.3 million signing bonus.
Bennett, as could be expected, didn’t want to give anything back. It appears that System Arbitrator Stephen Burbank doesn’t think he should either.
The storied NFL franchise claimed he hid a rotator cuff injury from them. In their complaint, the NFL alleged that “Bennett affirmatively misrepresented, and failed to provide full and truthful information concerning, his physical condition in connection with a March 2017 physical examination prior to the execution of a Player Contract with the Packers.”
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Green Bay’s grievance failed because they waived him and the Patriots picked him up. Florio wrote:
“Burbank determined that allowing the Packers to recover any portion of a signing bonus paid under a contract now held by another team would be inconsistent with the league’s waiver system. Put simply, if the Packers had wanted to pursue a recover of Bennett’s signing bonus, the Packers should not have waived Bennett.”
Looks like the Packers will have to chalk it up to a lesson learned. It’s an expensive way to learn a lesson, but hopefully, they learned it.